The Kids Beat

The Sea Worthy Tale of The Pirates of Dingley Dell

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Parents who want to relive the magic and adventure of overnight camp would be wise to add The Pirates of Dingley Dell to their stack of summer reading. Published last year by South Hero author and historian Bret Corbin, the adult book tells the true story of a remarkable South Hero boys' camp in the 1920s and '30s. Its director, Francis Godfrey Baker, was a boat builder who helped teenage campers construct a 75-foot-long pirate ship, Aladdin, which they sailed on Lake Champlain, through Vermont, New York and Canada. Using accounts from surviving family members, newspaper stories and campers' diaries, Corbin spins a yarn of ingenuity and determination. When you finish the book, recount the story to your kids — then take them to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Ferrisburgh, where you'll find a model of the impressive vessel.

The Pirates of Dingley Dell, by Bret Corbin, Red Barn Books of Vermont, 142 pages, $18.95. thepiratesofdingleydell.com

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